Have you ever had those dreams where you're being chased?
Or better yet, where you are doing the chasing?
It's kind of creepy, isn't it. You always seem to escape, but you always feel like you're about to get caught, too. I always seem to wake up really tense from those dreams. Just the other night I had one of those. But I was doing BOTH - I was being chased and I was chasing someone! Of course, the situations are always extreme. At one point (in the dream, that is), I was suspended on a skyscraper several dozen floors up - trying to escape this person I was running from.
But I couldn't stop thinking about this dream all day. It…haunted me a little.
Okay, haunted is maybe extreme. But it definitely nagged at me.
I think I've realized why it's nagged me. When I got home from work today, I was putting away laundry when all of a sudden - it hit me. (You know that glorious feeling…when all the planets align and you see unicorns jumping over rainbows.) That "it" was the realization that the person doing the chasing was me. And the person who was being chased was me. I know, I know…you're thinking, "Derek, you just told me that earlier in this post. That's not an epiphany, you're just repeating yourself."
So let me clarify.
Symbolically, the person I'm chasing in my dream is myself. At the same time, I am the person being chased by myself.
I am chasing myself, while I am running from myself.
A couple of weeks ago during staff devotion, my Pastor brought up something I'd never thought about before. He talked about how we have this head knowledge of who God has called and equipped us to be. But it never seems to be our present self - only our future self. We see this person God has carefully crafted and created, but it's always a 'future' version of me - never the 'present' me. We're never satisfied with who we are now, but the 'future' me is like Superman on steroids. The 'future' me reads his Bible everyday for at least an hour, then prays for at least another hour, then works out for an hour - all before 7am. He eats healthy, loves his wife above and beyond, is a perfect employee and he encourages everyone.
Now one day I'll get there (except for doing all that before 7am - that'll never be in my plans), and it may be when I die, but I'm going to get there. That's not the problem. The problem is putting up with who I am today. 'Present' me, scares me. So I run from him. While at the same time, I chase the 'future' me in a constant pursuit.
Over the past few months I've been…well, I've been in a rut. Nothing seems to really satisfy or fulfill me. But God doesn't love a future version of me, He loves me today - the 'present' me. The one I continually despise and look on in disgust…He loves that guy! And I need to love him, too. We need to be content with who God has made us to be today. Not tomorrow. Not the future version of who we are, but who we are right now. There's such peace that comes when we can rest in the knowledge of His love for us - as we currently stand. His love is unchangeable, immovable, unconditional. It's permanent.
Stop running from yourself. It's exhausting! But you should also stop chasing this future version of yourself. It's just as exhausting! And disappointing. The only thing really worth chasing is Jesus. Trust who God has made you to be TODAY, and rest in Him.